Omicron variant: Expert shares details on duration of symptoms in current cases

SAGE scientist on sending children to school amid omicron wave

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The COVID-19 virus may slowly be becoming less severe in the illness it causes in symptomatic patients. Furthermore, the duration of the illness may also slowly be coming down. While experts suggest it’s decreasing no specific data has come in yet. This is according to the results from the Covid ZOE App. This app, developed by King’s College London, allowed people to put in their symptoms if they tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, scientists have been able to get a much better picture of the developing symptoms of Covid-19.

According to data from the app, it looks like the illness from Covid-19 is getting milder and closer in severity to that of a common cold.

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, and Chief Scientist on the app, Professor Tim Spector said: “Broadly what we’re seeing now is the majority of people testing PCR positive actually have cold-like symptoms and they do not have the classical triad of ill Covid symptoms of fever, loss of smell and taste and persistent cough.”

The professor also said that the symptoms are now changing from those on the official government website: “More than 50 percent of people are presenting, and never getting those other symptoms, and yet they are testing PCR positive.”

There were some caveats to these findings however.

Firstly, the team behind the app have only examined the data from around 1,000 Omicron cases so far, a very small sample.

Secondly, the team have yet to gather what they describe as accurate data on Omicron symptoms.

Whilst Omicron is spreading quickly at the moment, and there are a lot of new Omicron cases, we haven’t yet got a full understanding on it.

We know that it’s more transmissible than Delta.

We know that the illness it creates is generally less severe.

We know that the vaccines work less effectively against it.

These are just broad-brush strokes, however, more time is needed for us to see exactly what impact it will have.

One impact that is almost certain is that it will lead to more restrictions coming back in the UK.

Yesterday it was reported that there will potentially be a post-Christmas lockdown to try and curb the spread of the Omicron variant.

The judgement for this will not just be based on case numbers, that have recently reached a record high in recent days, it will also be based on whether the NHS can cope.

Even though the booster jab provides 75 percent protection, that protection doesn’t come in until a week or two after the vaccination has happened.

As a result, so many are still vulnerable to the variant.

Restrictions are proving increasingly unpopular for two reasons.

The first is down to the anti-Covid restriction movement and the second is down to the Government party scandals that may leave the public questioning whether the government will follow its own guidance.

Before we get to that point and the discussions around lockdowns, it is crucial that you, and others around you, continue to get the booster for the safety of your friends and family.

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